WE’VE tracked down one of the few remaining relatives of the first black footballer to play for Wales – and she is still living in the area.

Veronica Harding contacted the Free Press following an appeal in last week’s paper for anyone who remembers or knows what happened to the family of John Edward Parris, or ‘Eddie’ as he was affectionately known.

Mrs Harding, 64, lives in Tennyson Road, Caldicot, and is the granddaughter of Eddie’s mother’s sister. Her father was Eddie’s first cousin.

She said: “Eddie was always the tops in our family.

“My dad always played football and it was just a big part of our family. Eddie was just our hero.”

Eddie was born in Chepstow on January 31, 1911 to a white mother and a West Indian father who was probably from Barbados, not Jamaican parents as was stated in last week’s paper.

Welsh Football Association archives say Eddie was born in Pwllmeyric.

But Liz McBride, of Tidenham History Society said there is no record of the Parris family living in Pwllmeyric although there are records of them living in Chepstow, Tidenham and Sudbrook.

Mrs Harding has been researching the family tree for about four of five years and was thrilled to learn so much information about Eddie still exists.

“I was brought up with stories about Eddie. I never met him, which is sad really but that’s how it goes I suppose.

“I know he was very well thought of and my dad used to say Eddie’s dad was a true gentleman.

“I wish my dad was here. He would have loved this.”

Research compiled by Liz McBride gives an insight into Eddie’s private and family life, as well as his career and includes a letter and photographs from the daughter of Eddie’s half-sister Mable, Kathleen Stanley, who lives in Hampshire.

Eddie showed early promise as a footballer and was playing for Chepstow Town Football Club by his mid-teens.